It is clear from comments made by Crs Cootes, Elliott and Holborow on the Kapiti Coast Facebook Page that there is no opposition to Dougherty’s latest much publicised rates increase — the sole opponent, Cr David Scott, has been banned from the building.

Although the average increase around the District is 5.9%, in Waikanae it is 6.1% and with 37% of Waikanae citizens over 65. it’s certain that there are going to be folks who are going to find yet another big increase a financial struggle.

But there is relief available.

First and most significant was the announcement in the government budget during the last week that lowest marginal tax rate of 10.5% will now apply to income up to $22,000 rather than $14,000; the rate in this band till now has been 17.5%. However, that change doesn’t take effect until 1 April next year whereas Dougherty’s rates increase takes effect on 1 July this year.

Secondly, the central government Rates Rebate scheme, which is administered by the local councils.

According to the KCDC site webpage:

“The scheme is designed to provide a subsidy to low income home owners and the Department of Internal Affairs adjust the criteria and rebate value annually. You can seek a rebate for the current rating year only.

“Each application is judged against criteria set by the Department of Internal Affairs. The criteria covers many points and, although the income threshold is $24,470, you still may qualify for a rebate with a higher income figure if you have dependants, or if your property’s rates are high. The maximum allowable rebate is $610.00

“The additional income allowance for dependants is $500 per dependent.

“Please Note: To be eligible to apply for the 2016/2017 Rates Rebate the Department of Internal Affairs requires you to be the legal ratepayer of the property and therefore have your name entered on the Rating Information Database (RID). As the legal ratepayer of the property you could either be the owner of the rating unit (property), or a lessee meeting certain criteria.”

According to the letter reproduced in our post from 20 September last year, there were 2,190 approved recipients of this scheme in Kapiti over 2015-2016.

Thirdly, the council has its own remissions scheme for those whose total rates plus water charges exceed 5% of household income — see this post from March this year for info.